George S. Schuyler, 82, a biting satyrist of American racial problems and a writer for the Pittsburgh Courier for 40 years, died Aug. 31 at New York Hospital.
Mr. Schuyler was known for taking positions against the grain. In the 1920s, he attacked Marcus Garvey's back-to-Africa idea and in the 1960s, charged that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Farmer were more interested in "fostering animosity" than civil rights.
Rayford W. Logan, chairman emeritus of the history department at Howard University, said in 1973: "He (Mr. Schuyler) could cut deeply and sometimes unfairly, but he was always interesting to read."
The writer also turned his acidic wit on whites. Perhaps his most lasting book is "Black No More," first published in 1931, and the story of a black doctor who discovers a glandular treatment that turns Afro-Americans into whites. Millions of blacks take it and disappear into the white population.
Whites have no menial help and many afro-Americans are jobless. The country's social system is upset. Life returns to normal only when some one discovers that the synthetic Caucasians are a shade lighter than the originals. Segregation is restored on the basis of dark skin.
Mr. Schuyler started writing in the 1920s for the "Messenger, "a black radical magazine edited by A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen. In the 1930s, his writing caught the eye of several white editors, including H. L. Mencken, who published Mr. Schuyler in "The American Mercury."
However, most readers saw Mr. Schuyler's work in the Pittsburgh Courier, a leading black weekly. Between 1926 and 1965, he was its columnist, chief editorial writer and associate editor.
Mr. Schuyler made several national tours. In 1925-26, he visited about 200 black towns across the country to report on black progress. In 1932, he and Roy Wilkins, recently retired executive director of the NAACP investigated charges of unfair practices black workers on the Mississippi flood control project.
The writer raised the ire of many blacks for not always raising the flag of race. Sail Mr. Schuyler: "There're many things that are happening in which Negroes are involved or touched by events without there being just a race angle to it. And that's what I always tried to do. After all, it's true that you're a Negro, but you're also an American."
As he became older, Mr. Schuyler became more conservative. Near the end of his life he was literary editor for William Leob's conservative Manchester Union and wrote about movies for Review in the News, a weekly news magazine published by the John Birch Society.
He toured Africa in 1961, speaking out for Portuguese colonial rule. He also championed the presence of U.S. troops in Southeast Asia.
Born in Syracuse, N.Y., to a father who was head chef in a hotel and a mother who was a housewife, Mr. Schuyler had a comfortable boyhood. He joined the Army in 1912 and served six years. Afterward he lived in the Bowery as a bum before beginning his writing career.
He married the former Josephine Lewis, daughter of a prominent white family in Houston. They had a daughter named Phillipa, a musical prodigy as a child and internationally known pianist as an adult. His daughter died in 1967, and his wife in 1968.